The fourth evening session of the IAAF World Junior Championships saw many of the best performances so far in Bydgoszcz, a gold medal for the home nation and a win for the biggest name on show here.
Abubaker Kaki Khamis, who set a World junior record in the 800m last month and is favourite to win gold at the Olympics, took as expected a victory as possible, although he was given a scare by Kenya’s Geoffrey Kibet.
The Sudanese, who ran 1:42.69 in Oslo, the fastest by any athlete for five years, displayed the confidence of an athlete who was three seconds quicker than the rest of the field as he set off in the lead.
He controlled from the front as he led through the bell in 51.78. However, rather than go away from the field, he was tracked closely Kibet. The pair were together in the home straight, but finally pulled away to victory by 0.63 seconds. South Africa’s David Olivier was third with 1:47.57.
Szpak thrills Polish crowd
Javelin thrower Robert Szpak produced an upset to give the home nation its first medal of the championships – and gold at that.
The 18-year-old came into the competition with a best of 75.97m, but inspired by thousands of patriotic Poles, he recorded 78.01m in the third round.
Egypt’s Ihaab Al Sayed Abdelrahman won silver with a national record of 76.20m, while Latvia’s Ansis Bruns took bronze with a PB 75.31m.
American hurdlers on top
Favourite Takecia Jameson won the first of two 400m hurdles for the United States.
Jameson led from the gun to take three tenths off her best with 46.29. Trinidad’s Janeil Bellille set a national junior record of 56.84 for second, while Britain’s Meghan Beesley also set a PB with 57.08 for third.
In the men’s event, Jeshua Anderson won the anticipated close battle between him and his compatriot Johnny Dutch.
Anderson, who had beaten Dutch at the US junior championships, clobbered the first hurdle but recovered well to lead at 200 metres. He held the slight advantage over Dutch, but there was little to choose between the pair as they entered the home straight.
Anderson, the US collegiate champion, gained the edge over the world junior No.1 to go to equal fifth on the world all-time under-20 lists with 48.68.
Dutch, who ran 48.52 when finishing fifth and missing out on an Olympic place by one tenth of a second at the US Trials, ran 49.25.
Amaurys Valle was third with a Cuban junior record 49.56.
Tamgho goes like the wind
European junior champion Teddy Tamgho produced a mammoth leap of 17.33m to win the triple jump, with only a marginally illegal following wind denying him a big new national record.
The wind gauge read 2.1m/s for his winning fourth-round leap after he revised his own national mark to 16.90m in round three (wind 0.7).
The 17.33m would have taken him to fourth on the world all-time junior lists with a wind speed of 2.0m/s or less.
Cuba’s Osviel Hernandez was also the benefactor of a breeze behind the competitors in round four, as he sailed out to 16.90m (2.1m/s) to clinch silver. Bahrain’s Mohamed Yusuf Salman took bronze with 16.59m.
Last-gasp for Lavric and Lemaitre
Romania’s Elena Mirela Lavric upset the favourite, Merve Aydin, to win the 800m, passing the Turk halfway down the home straight to clock a Championship best 2:00.06.
As she did in her heat, Aydin, who had been the fastest in the field, set a hot pace, passing 200m in 27.05 and 400m in 57.28. However, Aydin paid for her early exuberance, although she was rewarded with a national best of 2:00.92 and a silver medal. Dutchwoman Machteld Anna Mulder passed a dying Alison Leonard of Great Britain in last few metres as the first four set PBs.
France’s Christophe Lemaitre finished strongly in the men’s 200m to take the second of two gold medals for France on day four. Jamaica’s Nickel Ashmeade, in lane four, and Germany’s Robert Hering, in lane seven, were leading off the bend before Lemaitre came through between them to outdip them in a PB of 20.83. The Jamaican was just one hundredths behind with Hering on 20.96.
Bahamas’ Sheniqua Ferguson stepped up from the disappointment of bronze two days earlier in the 100m to take gold in the half-lap sprint. Powering down the home straight, she clocked 23.24 to beat Meritzer Wiliams into second. Grenada’s Janelle Redhead won bronze, while American Tiffany Townsend, the fastest at these championships on season’s bests was only fifth.
Volik vaults to gold
In the pole vault, World junior record holder Valeriya Volik emulated her compatriot Yelena Isinbayeva and took gold with a Championship record of 4.40m.
Isinbayeva, the dominant force on the senior pole vault scene, won this title in 2000 and Volik appears to be following in her footsteps since earlier this year she vaulted 4.50m – three centimetres more than the former world record held by Isinbayeva.
Volik had first-time clearances at her opening height of 4.00m, then 4.20m, 4.30m and 4.40m, a height matched by her compatriot, Ekaterina Kolesova. However, the latter had several more failures so had to settle for silver with Greece’s Ekaterini Stefanidi winning bronze. World youth champion Vicky Parnov of Russia was fifth with a below-par 4.20m.
USA on course in sprint relays
The United States dominated the 4x100m relay semi-finals on both the men’s and women’s side. Their women clocked a world-leading 43.76, a time which only five other countries have achieved in junior competition.
They were led off by Jeneba Tarmoh, who passed the baton on to Shayla Mayhan. Gabrielle Glenn was next and then Tiffany Townsend brought the quartet home to victory by nearly half a second over Brazil.
Jamaica won the other heat in 44.55 after medal hopes Britain failed to get the baton around.
In the men’s 4x100m, the American quartet of Dante Sales, Antonio Sales, Marquise Goodwin and Terrell Wilks set a World junior lead off 39.37. Great Britain (39.84) and Jamaica (39.62) won the other two semi-finals.
The favourites went through safely to the final of the women’s 100m hurdles. Alina Talai of Belarus won the quickest heat with a PB 13.31, while American Shermaine Williams, the fastest in the world this year, won her heat comfortably in 13.37.
Fourteen athletes went through to the final of the high jump, all clearing a best of 2.14m. They included Ukraine’s Bodhan Bondarenko and Egypt’s Karim Samir Lotfy, who jointly lead the world rankings with 2.25m.
Overnight heptathlon leader Germany’s Carolin Schafer enjoyed a dream start to her challenge. With four personal bests, she leads the heptathlon overnight by 76 points from world No.1 Yana Maksimova of Belarus.
The 16-year-old opened with the 100m hurdles in 14.10, moved on to a 1.78m high jump, put the shot 12.42m and then ended with 24.53 in the 200m.
Paul Halford for the IAAF